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Question about a crow 
23rd-Aug-2015 03:30 pm
Whilst it is not about parrots - I thought maybe someone would have helping information...

My mother has just been given a crow who doesn't have the upper half of his beak.
I haven't seen the bird so far and so I don't have photos yet - I migth be able to get some tonight or tomorrow morning.
Would normally the beak grow back ?
I have checked some local forums about smaller birds like canaries etc, and seems like these birds are getting it growing back... what about crows ?

(Note - Altough there are some who are interested in birds as well... There's no trustable and expert veterinaries for birds here - I'm in Istanbul-Turkey)
25th-Aug-2015 02:23 pm (UTC)
I've had experience with a Quaker Parrot without a top beak. There are occasionally specialists that can fashion a top beak as a prosthetic, but in my case, the Quaker didn't have enough bone left to anchor it to.

Beaks don't usually grow back from that kind of trauma. They already grow very slowly and too much damage means it won't recover. Whether or not he has a good chance of it growing back depends on how bad the injury is. Tiny bird beaks are not the same as larger bird beaks, both in function and in ratio of body to beak size.

HOWEVER! He can get used to not having that top beak. In the case of Mr. Duke (the quaker), they left his bottom beak grow out a bit so that he could use it as a spoon. He was fed mostly soft foods with high quality pellets ground into it. Things like cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, steamed peas, very ripe berries and other fruits.

Mr. Duke also suffered some brain damage from the injury and had essentially no short term memory. He panicked easily and became violent often. Bathing of any kind caused episodes so bad I was certain he's have a stroke. (Back story, he came to me reeking of cigarettes. 2 good showers in the tub in his carrying cage made my whole bathroom stink of them and the rinse water was yellow.) After months of intense work with several behavioral specialists, they determined that his odd behaviors were caused by the damage and likely could not be curbed in any significant manner.

After almost a year of rehab, total, he was introduced to another Quaker in the hopes that he would accept them and socialize. It was 'love' at first sight. They took to each other immediately. His partner took up preening him, as his beak was so damaged he could only take care of parts of his feathers (but he could pinch the crap out you when he freaked out). They did everything together. Slowly, over about 5 years, he freaked out 'less' and had 'fewer' neurotic/phobic behaviors. Bath time became minimally traumatizing and his calming down period was shorter.

He passed away from liver issues. The rescue had to check his liver values for the entire 5-6 years they had him because his previous diet had only 1 or 2 ingredients and had been for years. Varying his diet and adding pellets brought his numbers closer to normal, but as he got older his issues came back full force.

So there IS hope for the Crow, but probably not in the manner you are looking for. It is completely possible for him to live a fulfilling life with his injury, but he will likely NEVER be able to survive in the wild. I wish you so much luck! Let me know if you have specific questions and I'll happily answer them the best that I can.
26th-Aug-2015 08:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for this long answer. You've maybe seen later my other post with the crow's photos. He unfortunately slowed down pretty fast and died in the next day, without having completed the 24 hours. We were also seeking to see if there would be a material to make a prostetic, but really, here, the veterinaries do have minimal knowledge about wild animals. What they do know is mainly about broken wings-bones...
26th-Aug-2015 08:43 am (UTC)
By the way it was obvious he could not go back to the wild, even if he had made it longer than the 24 hours with us. We would have kept him, we already have three other crows, and two seagulls- they're with us because they're not able to fly. And then an african grey, who's ok in health, and cats and dogs.. Full house :)
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